When Is the Best Time to Open My Swimming Pool?
Well it's that time of year again folks. And after the winter we had here in Virginia, I say Gooooooood Riddens. But with the warmer weather, the ‘swimming bug' will soon be affecting all of us. (That is, if it hasn't already done so.) In fact, as I write this article and sit in my car at a parking lot in Yorktown Virginia, the temperature outside is about 93 degrees on April 7th. Wow, now that's what I call skipping spring!
But during this time of year, many pool owners debate about when they should open their pools. When is too early? When is too late? This is a legitimate concern, and this article will discuss my thoughts on the matter. Keep in mind though, the answer to such a question can vary drastically depending on the region, which is why I've tried to come up with a general, all-encompassing rule of thumb, which is as follows:
When the temperature is consistently above 70 degrees during the day, it's time to open the pool.
Why so early you ask? Well let me give you 5 main reasons.
1. Warmer temperatures breed algae in a swimming pool: For those swimming pools with mesh winter covers (allowing sunlight through), too much sunlight can spell days of work to get the pool up to ideal swimming conditions. Personally, I'd much rather open up the pool earlier to find a cleaner pool than wait an additional month to be welcomed by a mountain of algae.
2. Mother Nature: Mother Nature is a funny lady. She loves to play tricks on all of us. This was certainly the case this past weekend when I opened my pool. My neighbors thought it was silly that I was opening the pool so early in April. Of course, when they saw my kids in the pool yesterday, they didn't think it was such an odd decision any longer. And this is without even having a heater on the pool. The fact that it's early April and my kids are literally in our pool as I write this article is quite satisfying.
3. Pollen: In Virginia, pollen is a major pain in everyone's tail during the month of April. The problem with pollen though is that it wreaks havoc on un-circulating water. For example, all the pools that are closed right now (at least in the Virginia/Md area) are allowing pollen to get in the water and just sit there. This will make it even more difficult to open and clean the pool later. But for the pools that are open and circulating, the pollen will be simply sucked into the skimmer, caught by the filter, and will in-turn keep it from turning your pool into a yellow lagoon.
4. Expense: Many people hesitate to open their pool early because they feel it's too expensive. But considering that most swimming pool owners now have salt water pools and two-speed motors on their filter systems, the chemical and electrical cost is almost nominal. On average, if a pool owner runs their pump on low speed for a month and has a salt system, they'll likely spend less than $50 in total expenses. And when you compare that to the extra chemicals and cleaning required with a late-opening, doesn't an early opening make more sense?
5. Beauty: I don't know about you all, but to me there is nothing better than firing up the grill in April and having great food and fun with friends and neighbors. And nothing says ‘Summer is Here!' like having a beautiful swimming pool running and open to complete such a scene. Remember, the average pool owner spends more time on their pool's patio than they do in the actual pool, so the sooner the pool is open, the sooner one can enjoy the beauties of their backyard investment.
So there are my top five reasons not to wait on your swimming pool opening. For those of you who have an inground swimming pool and would like to watch our How to Open an Inground Pool Video, click here.
As always, we at River Pools hope everyone has a wonderful summer in their swimming pool and if you have any questions or comments regarding pool openings and timeframes, please don't hesitate to leave your thoughts and comments below.